Sega Japan Reveals SEGA World Drivers Championship 2018

arcadehero July 21, 2017 4
Sega Japan Reveals SEGA World Drivers Championship 2018

Developers are always working on something new and in the case of Sega, you can usually assume that more than one arcade racing game is in development at the company. They have a long history of supporting the genre, at times offering a few different takes on driving styles at the same time (back in 2009 I recall there being Hummer, Sega Racing Championship, Race TV and R-Tuned all available for purchase).

Hot on the heels of Daytona Championship USA, Sega has a new driving arcade game on its way by the name of SEGA World Drivers Championship 2018. This new arcade racing game offers a style of racing that we have infrequently seen in recent years, an attempt to simulate realistic Super GT racing. Developed by Sega Japan, the official teaser website states the following in regards to SWDC (rough translation; also thanks to GuruBob for mentioned this on Twitter which I caught afterwards):

Japan’s No. 1 popular motor Sport Super GT
Full-fledged racing game featuring!
From beginner to car lover, and even motor sports love,
Experience a wide range of fun “new drive Feeling”!

In offering difficulty that will appeal from the novice to the hardcore, they also mention “GT300” and “GT500″ classes, the website making it sound like a large variety of vehicles will be available to drive. In more rough translation from the website, it mentions: ” Overseas manufacturers as well as domestic manufacturers, have entered the number of teams. In the test run, [Toyota 86] [Toyota Prius] [Subaru BRZ] appeared three vehicles! ” plus “The GT500 class has participated in three domestic manufacturers (Lexus, Nissan, and Honda). The development competition of manufacturers is a world of sparks. Three manufacturers will compete in 15 teams, but in the test run, the development vehicle in fiscal 2017 appeared limited for a period! Rare vehicle that can not be seen rarely!”

Keep in mind that when they say “domestic”, that means Japanese made vehicles while overseas would be manufacturers from the US and Europe.

The Sega World Drivers Championship Cabinet

From the teaser website we have a render of the cabinet, which I took the liberty to capture and remove the background:

Sega World Drivers Championship arcade racing game by Sega

It is a sleek looking cabinet but should be considered a prototype for the moment (aka, changes can occure between this and release). The game will beging testing at two Sega owned arcade facilities in Japan next weekend; whether or not it will receive testing out West we may not know for a while but it would be unusual for a game like this to not receive a Western testing. Maybe it is already out there somewhere (hint, hint to you eagle-eyed readers out there 😉 )

This appears to sport a 42″ screen (although 47″ like Daytona Championship USA could be possible), a six-speed clutch, a gas & brake pedal (brake pedals noteworthy due to starting to not showing up in all racers anymore) and a GT Sports car style steering wheel that has a blue, red, green & yellow button on it for some of those deeper driving features. There is some kind of panel to the right that I assume works with the cards shown on the teaser site but that’s hard to tell at this resolution. With the seat appearing translucent, it very well could be lit up by LEDs in some manner – not to the extent that Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade was but certainly something.

UPDATE: Right after hitting publish on this I went to Twitter and started finding more info. Here’s a picture showing six units together although they don’t show variations in numbering yet; also you can see the lighting in the seats. From the tiny thumbnails of the graphics, this looks to be quite nice although we’ll need to see it in 60fps action to be sure. I don’t see any mention of the hardware on the website so it could be a new PC-based configuration they are doing that goes beyond the RingEdge 2 or the Nu:

Sega World Drivers Championship six player

The SWDC Teaser Trailer

Sega also released this teaser trailer for the game last night but don’t get too excited, it doesn’t really tell us much about the game other than to expect some professional style driving at the arcade:

Fortunately the teaser website does provide a little more info to chew on: “The race is three rounds a season. The season ranking is determined by the total of points earned in each round!” To that, they show three different courses plus specially made cards with a number of vehicles on them. Using Sega’s Aime online support system, this appears to offer online cloud player account tracking. While this doesn’t sound like it is going to get as deep into car crafting as Initial D, it certainly is aiming for something that is more on the technical side of racing than the casual “pick your car and just drive” arcade racer. Granted, we will need to see the actual game in action to get the best feel for how this one will turn out.

My guess is we could see SWDC at IAAPA 2017 in November. We should know more about this one next week after it hits test; what are your thoughts about it based on what we know so far?


  1. Jdevy July 21, 2017 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Reminds me of MotoGP. I think they should try this out in the west with a non redemption card collecting feature. I’d love to see how that would do now, considering games like Injustice and Despicable Me JellyLab are taking the trend to their advantage.

    • Jdevy July 21, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Also, to any readers here, keep an eye out on the Enchanted Castle, D&B Addison, and Gameworks Schaumburg locations in the Illinois area. These are the three likely test locations for this game or any other SEGA game.

  2. Tedward July 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Looks okay… nothing too special though. Pretty sure most arcade op’s will go for Daytona instead of this so I’m not expecting to see this often. But I’m just happy Sega are putting out more stuff really.

    A new proper light gun game (not one where it’s fixed on the cab) would be nice though, it’s been about 10 years since House Of The Dead 4, and the most recent one I can count is Operation G.H.O.S.T., which did get a sit down version this year but nothing has changed and I have yet to see any arcade with this.

    Also I assume you mean Sega Racing Classic instead of Sega Racing Championship as that doesn’t exist…

  3. Isocube Software July 22, 2017 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Cabinet looks great. I am not very into racetrack-racing, though. These awesome looking arcade machines makes me wonder why they aren’t selling to private persons like pinball machines. My wife stated right away that she would prefer Cruis’n Blast instead of a pinball.

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